How Corona Has Affected Wedding Budgets.
Weddings are not only lavish events that attract hundreds of people. We were used to planning a wedding with 50 guests in mind, only for 250 guests to attend (including gate crashers). But with social distancing, financial pressures, and government-imposed limits on guests, the grandeur of weddings has become a thing of memory.
After covid hit the country, couples found themselves facing a new normal. The wedding expectations often consist of two weddings: the traditional one and the white one had to be reduced or avoided. Currently, the number of guests who can attend a wedding is 50. What smore, there’s the restriction in terms of food serving, social distancing, and sanitization.
Still, with or without covid, Kenyans were already complaining that weddings are too expensive. The number of AG weddings was on the hike months before the pandemic. Issues such as cohabiting and eloping are also on the rise.
If weddings were expensive before, then they are still expensive now. The cost of a wedding now is an average of KES 400,000. This is a huge drop from Samantha Bridal’s 3.5 million wedding price tag.
No doubt, corona has affected weddings. But if covid has taught us anything, the purpose of a wedding is not to show off the extravagance. Instead, it is an event that marks the beginning of a lifelong journey.
The Story of Love
Traditionally, weddings were an event that was reserved for some friends and family. Let’s look at the Jewish wedding as an example (because the Jewish wedding inspired the Christian wedding).
The Jews believe that marriage is integral to God’s plan for continuing creation. They see it as part of God’s divine law, and the wife and husband joined together in a spiritual commitment. But the groom didn’t have to pay huge sums of money or part with a lot of stuff as dowry. In fact, the groom didn’t even give more than a dime.
African traditions offer a diverse way of getting married. Still, the approach was more or less the same, with the groom getting donations from relatives and friends for the ceremony. The family of the groom would then come to see the family of the bride. Negotiations would follow and, after that, a ceremony.
In some ways, today’s weddings capture the vibrant nature of African weddings and religious weddings’ elegance.
But covid has changed all that by denying us the social/community aspect of weddings. Financial constraints have made it difficult for couples to get their dream wedding because of income reduction.
Traders in the wedding industry have been severely affected as the strict measures to control the pandemic have limited the popularity of weddings. Big parties are not possible now, and we don’t know how long the stringent measures will continue. Some couples have opted to narrow their attention to each other and those closest to them.
The reality is that the wedding scene has entered into a new dimension. This is one where couples shift their focus to their priorities and purposes. Instead of having a wedding in an expensive venue, you can have it in your father’s land or have the reception in the same place as the ceremony.
Love Goes On
Weddings are still going on even with the covid crisis. We now have couples putting on face masks and social distance being upheld at ceremonies. That said, the pandemic is a reminder that it’s not wise to overspend for a wedding. We had grown accustomed to endless fundraisers and budget appeals that bring to light which is your true friend versus the false one.
Worse still, some couples took out loans to fund their weddings.
Now, don’t get it twisted. I love weddings just as much as every other lady out there (I think I’ve cried at most weddings). But, I respect the shift towards a minimalist kind of wedding. In as much as weddings are a social event, it would not be wise to squander hard-earned cash on a one-time event. I’ve always felt that the beauty of the wedding is the two people becoming one. Everything else is not relevant. The idea of only having close friends and family attend the wedding sounds like that’s how it was meant to be in the first place.
Weddings are simple and should be simple. We don’t know how the economy will look like once we’re done being imprisoned by covid. As such, it’s best to look at the financial future of your young family (i’m thinking of investing here and real estate).
Did you know that financial issues are among the top five reasons marriage fails?
So I guess that we can all agree that it’s better to have a cheap wedding, but a strong marriage. You can have a wedding as cheap as KES100,000. You can go to the AG with 2K and get married within 10 minutes. The work is not on the event. The hard work is keeping love alive for 50 years.
Overall, covid-19 is a lesson even in the aspect of weddings. So what should be your budget for a COVID-19 wedding? According to wedding planners, KES400,000 at most is enough to get your relatives talking. But if you ask me, go for a simple wedding and shift the finances towards building your future.